Touring

Together, Forever and ever!

So, up came this very interesting concept that I needed to Blog about. About togetherness, about memorable times spent with your family, buddies etc, and as I sat down to pen a few words, I realized that all I needed to convey in terms of what my friends and family means to me has already been conveyed.

I have written about my family , as my biggest asset, how they have always stood by me ( not a small task, with the kind of crazy stuff that I am prone to do). I have written about my friends, my fellow bikers, with whom I have spent many a day travelling and trusting each other’s instincts. I have written about my Bikes and cars, with whom I apparently have more conversations than with my family! What else is there to write about?

I was on the road travelling to work when it suddenly struck me. Literally. My car thumped into a pothole and I cursed the state of the roads, as is my wont, before pursuing my thoughts. I realised , that the one constant in all my travels, be it on my bikes or my cars, have been roads.

We have always been together. My moments on the road, have been the most memorable to me. I have felt happy at the start of the journey, saddened at the end of the trip, exhilarated when zooming on the open highways, frustrated when I have been stuck in traffic jams , a plethora of emotions targeted to an obviously inane object , which most of us take for granted.

Each road has its own charm and attributes, be it the curves of a Ghat road, the openness of a national highway, the beauty of a state highway or the danger and adrenaline rush that an unpaved road provides. I promise myself this, the next time I get on the highway, and the road and me travel together, I will pay attention to its unique characteristics a little bit more than I have been doing so far.

On the NH17, we need to be just a little more careful because of danger lurking around each curve. Its rightly called the bikers nightmare!

Similarly, the NH4 is one straight stretch of road that seemingly never ends and is a speed demon’s paradise.

Personally, one of the best roads according to me is the coastal road all the way from mangalore, right upto goa. The beach on one side and the swaying coconut palms on the other side. This road will weave you  into a trance that makes you want to come back again and again.

Recently, on our trip to the Rann of Kutch, we found the roads in gujarat , mainly state highways , incredible! we were able to make double the time we normally make on other roads because of the quality of the roads and the fact that there was hardly any traffic.

So what I am trying to get at, is that no matter where you, go, your one constant companion is the road. Be it the asphalt that you refer to or the path that you take towards the goals that you set , embrace the road and maybe appreciate it a little bit more!!

Which is your favourite road?

 

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Categories: musings, Touring, Travel | Leave a comment

Of friends, the highway, bikes and fun!!

Biking in india has moved on. With bigger and better bikes and new biking groups sprouting up every other day, kick starting a bike and hitting the highway has become another checkbox in the bucket list of things to do.

It’s been some time since I have been involved in what I consider a passion. Touring. Having travelled to the far corners of the country on two wheels , I can only claim to have travelled to these place. Exploring them and seeing them is another matter altogether. It is only recently when I have started to ride the highways with close friends and like minded souls that I have started the exploration of places.

Earlier , riding with large groups and clubs had its own charm. Just the feeling of being a part of 30-40 bikes on a highway and the head turning that ensued, gave you a high. However, it’s the question of moving and doing things that the majority of the group wants and in a lot of cases , forget about one’s own wants.

On a recent ride to the Kutch, we explored. 4 bikes, 6 bikers open highways and 1200 kms in 4 days. It’s no longer about having ridden 500kms per day but about seeing the beauty and the heritage that this country offers us. It’s about understanding the local customs talking to the villagers to see what is the best activity to do there, and going and doing it.

We explored a lost civilisation who taught us that rain water harvesting is not something we invented. It’s been there for 5000 years.

We explored the White deserts of the rann where we can practically touch our neighbouring country, noticing that the people on the border don’t really share the animosity that us city dwellers have towards this same country, even though they are more affected by them.

We explored the cuisine of the region. Oh boy did we explore the cuisine!

From convincing a vendor to let us cook our own food to making a hearty egg breakfast for all to jumpstart the day, to eating the famous thali meals that seems never to stop being served.

More importantly. We had potfuls of fun.

I guess what I am trying to say is this, As in most cases, it better to tour with friends you trust.
I know there is a lot of talk about brotherhood and such, but it’s just different when you trust and intimately know the rider in front and behind you. When you don’t need to explain why you want to do things a particular way, it’s just taken for granted and understood.

To all the new riders out there, a humble request, please try this. Get on the highway with and start exploring with friends. It will change the way you see the country and definitely the way you ride.

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Categories: biking, musings, Touring, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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